VII. The Complex metaphor of subject-self
71 VII The Complex metaphor of the Subject-self Keywords: inner life, essence, metaphor, self-control, mapping What is philosophically important is that there is no single, uniﬁ ed notion of our inner lives. There is not one Subject-Self distinction, but several. All of these distinctions are metaphorical and cannot be reduced to any consistent literal conception of Subject and Self. The notions of Subject and Self express the apparently uni- versal experiences of an “inner life” and the metaphors for conceptualising our inner lives are grounded in other apparently universal experiences. These metaphors appear to be unavoidable, to arise naturally from com- mon experience. Moreover, each metaphor conceptual- ises the Subject as being person-like, with an existence independent of the Self. The Self can be either a person, an object, or a location. The philosophical signiﬁ cance of such study is that the very way that we normally conceptualise our inner 72 lives is inconsistent with what we know scientiﬁ cally about the nature of the mind. In our system for concep- tualising our inner lives, there is always a Subject that is the locus of reason and that metaphorically has an existence independent of the body. As demonstrated in section IV of the present text, this contradicts the fun- damental ﬁ ndings of cognitive science. Yet, the concep- tion of such a Subject arises around the world uniformly on the basis of apparently universal and unchangeable experiences. If this is true, it means that we all grow up with a view...
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